Mr. John Gajda

Electrical and Computer Engineering


ECE 585 Business of Electric Utility

3 Credit Hours

Evolution of the electric utility industry, the structure and business models of the industry, the regulatory factors within which the utilities operate, the operations of the utility industry, and the current policy and emerging technology issues facing the business. The course includes an introduction to engineering economy and the analysis of time-value of money decisions as related to electric utility infrastructure.


Power System Analysis (NC State ECE 451)

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Identify and differentiate the regulatory bodies governing the electric utility industry.
  • Describe the primary business models of the industry and explain how an electric utility makes money.
  • Analyze a utility income statement, utility revenue requirement; understand utility rate schedules and rate structures.
  • Select the best rate schedule for a customer based on actual electrical loads and time of use of same.
  • Perform a utility-scale cost/benefit analysis.
  • Make construction and/or investment decisions based on an economic analysis of the relative merits of the involved options.
  • Analyze impact of changing a customer’s rate schedule on the cost of the utility service.
  • Describe utility planning processes – and regulatory processes – for generation, transmission, and distribution; describe utility risk management concepts.
  • Describe how transmission & distribution capital and O&M budgets are built from utility planning and reliability goals; construct a budget using the “prioritization and funding line” approach.
  • Describe utility asset management concepts and how to implement them.

Describe the conflicts and challenges of interconnecting distributed resources in the midst of utilizing conventional utility planning models.

Course Requirements

Individual homework
Group homework
Midterm/final exam


R.E. Brown, Business Essentials for Utility Engineers, CRC Press, 2010. (Available as NCSU Library e-Book)

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

Updated 8/9/2020


Fall 2022 Coming Soon